I pulled my pickup into the back lot of the Bourbon & Branch and parked in the far corner, away from the door. My shift ran from eight at night to four in the morning. I caught some of the good-time crowd early. Then I watched as the demographics changed. Changed from the beautiful people to the drunk people. Drunken people who had yet to realize they missed their chance for a hook up. There were a few regulars. They came in about midnight and closed us up at 0400.
The place was hoppin’ when I arrived. I waved to Connie as I came through the back door. She nodded to acknowledge me and went back to work. She pulling a tray full of Guinness Stouts for one of the tables against the wall.
After she handed the tray of drinks back to the server, Marny she meandered down the bar to turn over the reins to me. She looked tired and ready to finish for the rest of the night and the morning.
“Evening, Jake,” she started.
“What’s up, Connie,” I said.
I’m not a big talker, which explains why I work till four in the morning. The customers, after midnight, aren’t here to talk. They’re drinkers.
“Everything’s going smooth,” she said. “All the barrels are fresh changed within the last couple of hours, except for the Hoegaarden. You’ll need to change that before the night is over.”
“The crowd is about what you’d expect. Down at that end of the bar, we got a local guy. Named Daniel, and he’s cryin’ in his beer ‘cause his wife up and left him. You know Daniel, he lives three doors down from here, towards the church.”
“Yeah,” I said, “he’s been in a couple of times.” I craned my neck to see him sitting at the bar, slumped over something blue, in a glass
Connie nodded, “Seems she left him for a guy who lives two blocks over from the park, named Nick Masters. I don’t know him.”
“Me neither,” I shrugged my shoulders. “What’s Daniel drinking?”
Connie grimaced, “He calls it an Adios Motherfucker, and it has equal parts of vodka, rum, gin, tequila, and Blue Curaçao. Gotta be nasty, and he’s working on his fourth one.”
Turnover completed, Connie went home, and I got to work. I checked everyone at the bar, got more drinks, as required, and clocked in with Daniel.
He wasn’t doing well; he still slumped over his drink. He was literally crying when he asked for another one. I asked him if he was sure, and how he was getting home.
He said he was sure, and that he was walking home. I made him another AMF. He was quiet. He wasn’t bothering anyone. I figured it was alright for him to sit and cry a while longer. He sat, shit-faced, nursing his drink until he exploded. Which was when Nick Masters walked in with Daniel’s wife, Emmy, on his arm.
Danny spun around on his bar stool and leaned back. “You son-of-a-bitch, Masters!” Daniel yelled. “I’m not letting you bring her back. You’re stuck with her.” He picked up his blue drink and flung it in their general direction. He missed wide, but managed to signal for another AMF.
I got busy.